Treasury hires Verizon to run its network

Treasury hires Verizon to run its network

BY DIPKA BHAMBHANI | GCN STAFF

In line with Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill's goal to increase automation, the department this month turned over the reins of its voice network to Verizon Communications Inc. of New York.
Under the contract, worth up to $45 million, Verizon will build a Digital Telecommunications Switching System 2 (DTS2) over the next five years to improve telephone equipment and service procurement.

'Treasury has made the commitment to transform its technical environment linking voice, data and video,' said Bill Sylvester, director of customer service infrastructure and operations for the Treasury. 'This is the first step, the convergence.'

Verizon will expand the DTS2 network over the next several years as part of the Treasury Communications Enterprise technology integration project.

'Instead of Treasury owning and operating their stuff, we will,' said Randy Lucas, general manager for federal markets in Verizon's enterprise solutions group.

Lucas said Verizon's responsibility for the existing voice network is to upgrade it and keep it current. For example, Verizon will eventually implement voice over IP service, he said.

The first step, however, will be to connect phone procurement systems at headquarters with those at bureaus and offices in metropolitan Washington via a direct link to Verizon. The link will let managers order all types of phone services such as changing numbers, adding lines or moving lines when workers change offices.

'We're talking 300,000 users,' Sylvester said.

An earlier DTS phone network, built in the early 1990s by Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., automated some service procurement processes but was managed in-house at Treasury.

Keeping tabs

DTS2 will be a performance-driven contract managed by Verizon over the voice network that Treasury acquired from Lucent. It will integrate two Web provisioning applications, Service@Once and Bill@Once, that are also part of the General Services Administration's Washington Interagency Telecommunications System 2001 contract, also held by Verizon. The Treasury initiative is separate from WITS 2001.

The Web apps will let Treasury officials retrieve network utilization reports and track their orders and billing.

'A built-in tool validates orders' from a PC, Sylvester said. 'You can just click and go, which cuts down on a lot of paper.'

DTS2 will simplify outfitting new buildings, switching phones or maintaining cables during the convergence and expansion of the network, he said.

'All of that has to be specified,' Sylvester said.

By November, Service@Once and Bill@Once will be integrated into 35,000 Treasury computers.

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